Tag Archives: skincare reviews

TONS of Naruko Skincare Samples: Speed Reviews

{All Naruko Skincare Samples were Provided for Review by Naruko USA}

If you’ve been following this blog for awhile, you’ll know I’m a huge fan of Naruko skincare. Their favorite products are the night jellies that they offer, but they also have various lines of skincare for different skin types, issues and concerns and I was lucky this past winter/ spring season to be able to test out a few of them for a few months.

Here’s a look at everything I received for review. Naruko has been super generous to me and I couldn’t be more grateful to have the opportunity to try more of their products because they are a brand that I would purchase from no matter what. If you’re unfamiliar with this brand, Naruko is a Taiwanese beauty brand that mainly offer a variety of skincare products for all your skin concerns including acne, dry skin, discoloration or pigmentation, and more. The brand is known for selling products that are naturally effective and include a variety of all natural ingredients combined with some scientific research to ensure the best results for your skin.

Rose & Botanic HA Aqua Cubic Hydrating Cream

The first item I tested out was their Rose & Botanic HA Aqua Cubic Hydrating Cream. It comes in an air tight plastic container which dispenses the perfect amount of cream out of a hole in it’s center when you press down on the top. It’s really sanitary and effective way to keep your cream clean as well as keep it from oxidation which will make ingredients less effective over time so I really like the packaging for it’s practical function. Aside from the packaging, this is a great cream for those with dry skin or combination skin who are dry in the winter or spring seasons. I got really super dry skin this past winter and this was a really nice cream to keep my skin from dehydration.

Rose & Botanic HA Aqua Cubic Hydrating Mask

I absolutely love sheet masks! They are super easy to use, effective and very mess-free. They come in rectangle envelopes with face shaped cotton masks that are pre-soaked in the mask ingredients so you literally just pull them out, place them on your face and relax for 10-15. A lot of them don’t even need to be rinsed off, though you can if you’d prefer to. This one is super hydrating and softening.

Rose & Botanic HA Aqua Cubic Foaming Wash

This face wash was hit and miss for me. On the one hand, I really enjoyed the gratifying peeling that happened when I used it. It basically lathers up really nicely and when you massage it onto your skin, it starts to peel the dead skin off your face to reveal brighter skin beneath and you can literally see the skin coming off in little pieces. It’s not painful and there’s very little to no abrasion going on so it’s done more chemically than anything. It doesn’t feel like a face scrub much at all so, if you’re not into scrubs, this doesn’t feel like that. Instead, it just massages dead skin off your face and reveals new skin after. I really liked the peeling bit of this face wash, but as for treating dryness, it was not nearly as much hydration as I wanted and needed in a winter cleanser. I actually think face balms work much better for me than this, which I found to be brightening, but still a bit drying. It may work better for others, but for me, it didn’t hydrate enough. This might be great for those who battle oily skin, but also have dryness.

Tea Tree Oil Out Peeling Gel

This is another peeling type product that’s super fun to use. It does feel more like a scrub as it has tiny little beads in the formula, but they aren’t rough at all to use. To use this, you apply a small amount to skin and massage it around your face gently (avoiding eye area) for a minute or so. You will see small pieces of skin come off in the same way as the face wash and you need to rinse after using this to get all the little pieces completely off. I liked this better than the face wash, but it still didn’t hydrate my skin enough. I really just enough the scent of the Naruko tea tree products, to be honest. This is a great one for acne prone skin types.

Rose & Snow Fungus Classic Hydrating Night Eye Gelly

This hydrating night eye jelly is perfect for under the eyes. It’s super thick and goopy feeling, but it will soak in completely within an hour so that does go away eventually. It really does hydrate the eye area and protect it nicely. It didn’t cause breakouts on my skin at all so that’s a great bonus for those who have dry under eyes, but experience eye sensitivity and acne, because it’s very hydrating without being heavy or causing irritation.

Rose & Snow Fungus Classic Hydrating Night Gelly

Although this hasn’t taken the place of my favorite night jelly, it’s still a really lovely Night Jelly and it’s especially beneficial for dry skin types or those currently experiencing dryness. It has a really lovely, yet subtle rose scent and feels hydrating, but light on the skin.

AMPM Super Triple HA Skin Hydrator Seru

AMPM Super Triple HA Skin Hydrator

This very hydrating, yet light serum has a high concentration of B vitamins and hyaluronic acid to help hydrate, plump, and soothe skin. I really like how light this serum is, despite the fact that it’s very moisturizing. I think this is perfect for combination and oily skin types who have trouble finding serums that both hydrate the skin and are not super heavy. This is a great one for those who have trouble with heavier moisturizers, but still want a hydrating serum to use.

Facial White Illuminating Cotton Pads

The last item I received is this box of texturized cotton pads that are unique to Naruko. They are dual sided with one side being very smooth and one side being cross-hatched for gently buffing the skin. These are fantastic to use with facial toners or to remove makeup because the cross-hatched side really buffs the skin clean and gently exfoliates while the smooth side polishes and smooths the surface. I really saw a huge difference in my skin with using these alongside a toner and I definitely think they’re worth the little extra cost.

Overall, these products from Naruko, unsurprisingly, were really awesome. They all work really well at hydrating the skin and putting some life into otherwise dry skin cells. I definitely had an issue with dryness this past season and these products all helped a lot. I don’t think there was anything I really loved out of this bunch, but they’re all pretty solid as good skincare choices in my book. I don’t think I’d use them in the Summer time really as my skin can’t really handle it and prefers oils to lotions. I know that sounds weird and backward, but that’s how my skin is. If I had to pick favorites, I would choose the Night Eye Jelly, the Tea Tree Peeling Gel and the Cotton Pads, but these are all worth a look if hydration is what you need so definitely give them a look!

Have You Tried Any of These Products from Naruko?

What Are Your Thoughts on Taiwanese & Asian Beauty Products?

I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!

♥ Tianna

Related Articles:

Get Clear Skin with Naruko’s Apple Seed & Tranexamic Acid Line

Brand Spotlight: A Closer Look At Naruko

Summer Acne Breakout Savior – Naruko Tea Tree Night Jelly

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If you’re following me on Instagram (@StorybookBeauty), you may have seen this post showing what I purchased from Beauty Bay recently. I was super excited to try both of these as I’ve been obsessively eyeing them online for ages. I was especially excited to try out this eye cream by Pai Skincare and it did not disappoint!

Echium BioRejuvenate Eye Cream

If you’re unfamiliar with Pai Skincare, they are a UK beauty brand with all natural, organically certified (UK Soil Association), cruelty free (Jumping Bunny), and vegan skincare products for all skin types with an emphasis on creating products that will work even for the most sensitive, allergy prone skin without causing irritation.

One thing I absolutely love about Pai is that their products are not simply milled out on the assembly line like a lot of larger companies. They manufacture and create their products in the UK with lots of research and development so you are getting a top notch product. I also love that they don’t include any synthetic preservatives or chemical ingredients in their formulas because I don’t have to worry about using this product and wreaking bodily harm on myself or the environment.

Aside from their incredible standards, natural certifications, and dedication to quality products without harmful ingredients, this eye cream actually works!

That’s right, despite being made of all natural loveliness, it is actually having an effect on my eyes that I, even at 23, can see.  Personally, I think this is nothing short of amazing given my track record with eye creams and the fact that I don’t even have a huge amount of fine lines to contend with!

In the past, I have had a lot of trouble finding a nice eye cream because of my skin type. With combination skin, either the product is not hydrating enough thereby making my eye area dry or the product is too oily or includes cheap silicone types which acts as fillers (makes it look like there’s a difference when there isn’t!) and effectively break my under eyes out in little white and black heads (EW. Gross AND annoying!).

This eye cream has a lovely consistency! It is pretty thick and very spreadable so a little goes a long way, but contrary to most thick creams, this does not break my under eyes out or cause any irritation at all. Using my ring finger, I take one half dime sized dot of cream for both of my eyes and gently pat it into the skin above and below my eyes. Although I don’t have deep set wrinkles, I do notice definite fine lines setting in and the beginnings of crow’s feet (and yes, I’m panicking about them!).

In the short time I’ve been using this eye cream (nightly only for 2 weeks), I’ve seen a subtle difference in softness of my under eye skin as well as less noticeable fine lines and an overall plump and hydrated look to the entire eye are. Also, I have small dots (broken capillaries) under my eyes, mostly on the inner corners, from rubbing my eyes too much when I was younger and they are actually diminishing! I highly recommend this for anyone who wants to try an eye cream with a more natural and ethical conscience, but that is also super effective. I think women in their 20s+ will definitely see a big difference using this!

Check it out – Here!

Do you use eye creams?

If so, which is your current favorite?

Gentle Face Cleanser + Exfoliant + Moisturizer + Face Mask : Suti’s CLEANSE Organic Facial Cleansing Balm & Muslin Cloth

If you’ve been following along for a bit, you may have seen my original post on Suti Skincare, but if not, you may have seen the reviews I did for their Peppermint Face Toner and Purity Balm Moisturizer, which I also featured as one of my June Beauty Favorites. If not, do check them out! I’ve become such a huge fan of Suti since first trying samples of their stuff a few months back. They are truly one of those organic beauty brands that offer quality products that are also very effective and that is something to be applauded. They’re already one a few awards for their efforts including Best Beauty Newcomer by Sublime Magazine for 2011 and it’s all very well deserved.

Their Organic Cleanse Balm is certainly no different than any of their products in terms of quality. Although you get a modest sized jar, I can fully attest to the fact that a little really actually does go a long way. This will last you several months. It’s a very compact balm in the jar and a dime sized amount easily melts in your hand and onto your face. This is a different kind of cleanser entirely to the typical foam and rinse types; it requires a bit more work, but the payoff is better. You really have to massage this kind of cleanser into your face really well to get the results you want, otherwise this is just oil sitting on your face being useless, albeit really high quality oils. In order to get the full effect, you must massage this into your skin for at least a minute and you can leave it on for 5-20 minutes if you want to get added mask effects. It really deep cleans the pores without being drying to the skin and, when used with the muslin cloth (free when you purchase the Cleanse Balm, BTW!), it exfoliates your skin in an extremely gentle way that doesn’t irritate, just brightens and tones. I really like their muslin cloth as well; it’s unbleached and natural and it’s really quite soft. This one is certainly higher quality than the one from Liz Earle, though both get the job done at any rate.

Aside from being an incredible cleanser, it also really hydrates the skin really well. Amid the scorching heat we’ve been enduring lately, I’ve been using this alone. I did test it with the Purity Balm on cooler days and it worked really well combined with that too, though a bit too moisturizing for the hot, miserably humid days we’ve been experiencing for the past 3 weeks (Ugh.)

The things I truly love about this cleanser are that it is very gentle and includes a lot of healing ingredients. On days when my skin just feels downright abused (like when I feel oily, dirty, but still dry – WTF?), this is an absolutely skin saver. It just feels so nourishing and the nourishing oils sink right into the skin, leaving my skin feeling super soft and supple. I have truly loved this on hot days (believe it or not) because it’s allowed me to combine cleansing with moisturizing and it leaves my skin feeling balanced because I can buff this off my face with warm water and the muslin cloth after massaging it into the skin.

This is definitely a more expensive cleansing balm, but as far as cleansing balms go, this is the best one I’ve ever tried and truly worth the price in my opinion. I know a lot of people don’t like to spend a lot on skincare, but it’s something I think is truly worth investing in because your face is the only one you’ve got and it deserves the best.

Check out the Organic CLEANSE Balm – here!

Check out all Suti Skincare products – here!

Disclaimer: I was NOT given compensation to write this blog post in any way other than the samples sent to me from Suti Skincare for review purposes. My opinions, thoughts and experiences with this product are my own irregardless of if and/or how I obtain products.

Keep Cool In This Heat with Suti’s Peppermint Water Facial Toner

If you’ve been following along for awhile now, you’ll know how much I’ve come to love Suti Skincare. Ever since they sent me mini samples a few months ago, I’ve been a serious convert of their products. After all, they’re made with all natural and organic ingredients, quality packaging and their products are above all, effective.

So, when they agreed to send me more products for review, of course I said yes!

This is one of the awesome products they’ve sent me that has seriously been a godsend. I was actually complaining about the unbearable heat in an email to one of their lovely reps when she agreed to send this to me!

I cannot thank her enough! Seriously, this toner is so cooling given the peppermint in it, plus it comes in a very convenient spray bottle that I keep in my purse for every hour on the hour that I’m guaranteed to be sweating. Did I mention my office has no AC? We have a very large glorified fan that manages to cool down the hallway and little else, but this toner has been doing all the work to keep me from dying of heat overload. Not only that, but it helps to calm redness and irritation so I’ve been using it at night to help get rid of 2 spots that popped up when the weather took a turn for the worse (105 degrees F here today!). It’s meant for combination to oily skin types, but I actually think anyone with any skin type could use this one. It is gentle, calming and doesn’t have any added fragrance so the scent of peppermint is just barely discernible. The effects, on the other hand, are subtle yet immediately cooling and calming.

All in all, a seriously awesome product made with only the best ingredients – pure organic peppermint leaf water.

It’s pretty pricey at £18.00 (approx. $36 USD), but you do get a fair amount of product (100mL) and it really does last you.

Check it out – here!

See Suti Skincare’s full line of products – here!

You can also learn more about their ingredients – here.

Disclaimer: I was NOT given compensation to write this blog post in any way other than the samples that were sent to me from Suti Skincare for review. My opinions, thoughts and experiences with this product are my own.

Related Articles : 

http://storybookapothecary.com/2012/06/12/suti-skincare-mini-sample-reviews/

http://storybookapothecary.com/2012/07/08/suti-skincares-purity-balm-review/

Suti Skincare’s Purity Balm Review

So, not that long ago I reviewed some mini samples that were sent to me from Suti Skincare (see those reviews – here!) and I had tried the mini sample of this balm, but I just didn’t get the hype. That being said, I was only able to get like 3 uses out of the little jar they sent so of course I wouldn’t be able to get a good feel for something like this that effects the skin over time. That being said, apparently Suti reps agreed with this notion and decided to send me a full size of this one to try to get a better feel for it!

So yay! I am super happy I was able to try the full size of this because it has been amazing at calming my skin down on days when I’m just red and blotchy, dry or even riddled with breakouts for no damn reason. My skin has a mind of it’s own at times and just does whatever it pleases so this was great to have on hand because it actually does wonders at calming, nourishing and healing flare-ups of any kind whatsoever.

It feels really gritty straight out of the jar, but it melts on contact with the skin and soon turns into an oil type balm texture. I love the impressive ingredient list and the fact that it’s certified organic in the U.K. where certification requirements are much more strict than in the U.S. The main superstars in this are the calendula, chamomile and lavender which all work wonders to soothe the skin. Plus, this balm smells wonderful and really helps to relax me in the evenings before bed.

Ingredients: Vitellaria Niloteca (Shea Butter)*, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil*, Prunus Armeniaca (Apricot) Kernel Oil*, Cera Alba (Beeswax)*, Sesamum Indicum (Sesame) Seed Oil*, Calendula Officinalis Flower Extract*, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil*, Tocopherol, Anthemis Nobilis (Roman Chamomile) Flower Oil*, Linalool**, Geraniol**, Limonene**

* Certified Organic  ** Naturally occurring in essential oils

The heavy jar packaging is really nice and classy looking and it comes with an odd plastic spatula thing meant to help scoop the balm out of the jar, but it’s so thin and has no actual spoon or anything on the end. I really felt it was quite useless and threw it away after getting frustrated trying to use it. I like the idea behind it, but the design of this is such crap and it’s confusing because the jar is really top notch quality. Anyhow, I just ended up using one of my spoons instead because I find it’s more effective than the crap stick they sent.

Okay so back to how amazing this balm is!

It feels really softening on the skin and it actually has similar effects on my skin that their cleansing balm did only without having to rinse. It is so protective as well, but it doesn’t feel at all heavy or thick. It didn’t make me break out; quite the opposite, this helped clear some breakouts I had going on.

I highly recommend this to any and all skin types. It is so great to use when your skin is out of balance or just freaking out for no reason which I think can happen to us all sometimes. It will work especially well for those with dry, sensitive or even acne prone skin types because it’s very hydrating, calming, and balancing. The soothing ingredients in this are great for all types and gentle enough for those who can’t use drugstore type products. The ingredients are truly top quality and beneficial for the skin. It is a bit expensive, but it’s completely worth it, in my opinion, because the quality and effects are amazing. As disgustingly marketing jargon this is going to come off as, it really does “feed your skin” as their slogan states and I really believe anyone could benefit from using this balm.

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Check it out – here!

Disclaimer: I was NOT given compensation to write this blog post in any way other than the samples that were sent to me from Suti Skincare for review. My opinions, thoughts and experiences with this product are my own.

I was recently sent a really decadent deluxe sample of the Natural Glow Cleansing Oil by Antonia Burrell from BeautyHabit.com and I am LOVING it!

I have been testing some products from Alpha-H for the past month or so and I’ve been using this cleansing oil in rotation with the Alpha-H Micro Cleanse and Triple Action Cleanser (Check out the full Alpha-H Reviews – Here!) when my skin feels in need of extra nourishment and hydration and it has been a complete godsend.

It really feels so nourishing and hydrating. Basically you pour a nickel sized amount of the oil out onto your palm, massage into the skin without water for around 1 minute and then rinse off. The oil turns a little milky and rinses off leaving the skin very soft and moisturized.

It works really well to moisturize the skin without leaving a residue or making your skin feel oily. It smells incredible and the scent is very relaxing to inhale at the end of a long day.

Infused with cypress, bitter orange, tea tree, lavender and lemon, this cleansing oil works very well for all skin types because it hydrates while calming redness, fending off heinous bacteria and healing acne and other skin issues.

I used it to remove both normal day makeup and even tried it on waterproof mascara with equally great results. I think if you have super oily skin, you could easily use this as an all in one cleanser + moisturiser during the day or at night. It leaves the skin soft, supple and hydrated and I will certainly purchase this soon as I’ve run out of the little sample I was sent. That being said, I had a pretty tiny sample that I managed to stretch out for around a month’s worth of regular use.

I highly recommend this for any skin type, especially those affected by acne and frequent breakouts. The herbs in this help to clear the skin while the natural vegetable oils nourish, heal and hydrate without making your skin feel oily. I really think this can help any and all skin types, including acne prone and sensitive types.

Check out this cleansing oil on Beauty Habit – Here!

Related Articles:

Suti Skincare Minis Review

Carrot Butter Cleansing Balm Review

Omorovicza Thermal Cleansing Balm Review 

Disclaimer: I was NOT given compensation to write this blog post in any way other than the samples that were sent to me from Beauty Habit for review. My opinions, thoughts and experiences with this product are my own.

My Crazy Weekend + Lovely Duchess Marden Mini Sample Reviews

I just wanted to apologize again for having an absolute repeat of the silence and crickets of last weekend. I know, I know, I can’t believe I managed to completely ignore blogging all weekend, but the thing is that I just moved and it’s just been ridiculous having to clean and move everything in and I’ve been exhausted, for lack of a better word.

So my apologies for another quiet weekend!

I actually have quite a bit of reviews and things lined up to share with you all, but I’ve had little time to tally up the goodness and add photos and things so I can publish so instead I’ve a million and one drafts sitting in queue waiting to be shown some proper attention before being pushed out into the world!

So, anyhow, once I have a chance (hopefully in the next day or so), I will certainly update and publish the many many awesome posts so please stay tuned!

 I was recently sent these lovely samples from Duchess Marden and I really quite enjoyed them. If you’re unfamiliar with Duchess Marden skincare, it began with one woman’s trip to Southeast Asia and her discovery of pure rose water there. From then, she decided to harness the healing and regenerating powers of rose in her skincare line and thus was beginning in the creation of the very luxurious Duchess Marden products. To read more about it, check here.

I don’t know that this line is really aimed at my age group or my skin type, but the products are certainly gentle enough to be used on any type regardless. The Face Creme Cleanser and Face Creme both have a jasmine/rose type antique smell which, if you’ve been following along for a bit, you all know I’m not immensely overjoyed by. I suspect this is due in part to the rose water they include in the majority of their products which is great for the skin, but not a scent I’m particularly fond of.

Aside from that, this cleanser + face creme duo is quite nice. They both are very gentle, clearly aimed at those with dry or sensitive skin and yet, even with my acne prone combination skin, they were still very pleasant to use. Gentle, effective at cleansing without drying out the skin, and very nourishing and hydrating, I would certainly recommend these two for anyone with a lot of skin irritation, especially rosacea types, or anyone with dry to mature or otherwise sensitive skin. They are both very gentle and calming and work well together.

Check out the Creme Cleanser – here!

Check out the Face Creme – here!

Second on the list is the Neck and Decollete Serum which was one of my favorite items from the lot!

I really love the consistency of this serum! It’s very nourishing, it looks a bit like a runny creme, but it feels like a serum and hydrates the neck and decollete very well. I really enjoyed this one quite a bit and I like that they offer a product like this. Too often, we forget about our neck and decollete areas and think to treat everything else, but then the signs of aging tend to show up on the neck, decollete and hands when neglected so I think this is a really great product and it works well for this area. It’s not too heavy, but just right and very lovely to use!

Check it out  – here!

This line would be incomplete without their 100% Pure Rose Water! I think it’s important to mention that, although I am not a fan of the rose scent, I love this rose water. Derived from steam-distilled fresh pink Damask rose petals, it’s really refreshing and the scent is not overwhelming at all. Instead, the scent is pretty subtle, but it feels very nourishing and calming. It really helps to calm redness and breakouts and I love it even more so now because it is really refreshing in this hot-as-hell Southern California weather! Add to that the pH balancing, antibacterial and pore tightening abilities and I am pretty sold on this one!

Check out it out – here!

The Body Serum in this line is really great because it’s oil based, but it isn’t oily. It’s not heavy, it has a nice subtle scent that isn’t rose (thank you! LOL), and it is actually very hydrating to the skin. I really enjoyed this serum. I don’t think it’s nourishing enough for someone with severely dry skin, but mildly dry to normal skin would really benefit from this serum.

Check it out – here!

The last in the line of samples that I received is the Damascena Anti-Wrinkle Serum. I really like the lightness of this serum. I don’t know that I really experienced any anti-wrinkle effects, but then I don’t have many wrinkles yet. Aside from that, I did feel like it helped firm my skin a bit and it was very hydrating, calming, and toning to the skin.

 Check it out – here!

Other Features to Love About Duchess Marden Products:

  • Hydrating and Calming Ingredients
  • Naturally scented
  • Utilizes 100% Pure Rose Water
  • NO fillers, artificial fragrances, petrochemicals, parabens or chemical preservatives
  • Luxurious and Relaxing Vibe to all products and lovely presentation
 Check out the entire Duchess Marden line of products – here!

Has anyone ever tried the Duchess Marden line before?

Disclaimer: I was NOT given compensation to write this blog post in any way other than the samples that were sent to me from Duchess Marden Skincare for review. My opinions, thoughts and experiences with this product are my own.